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Who should pay if something breaks in a rented apartment
Who should pay if something breaks in a rented apartment

It is better to specify all the conditions in the lease agreement. What to do when he is not there, we figure it out together with a lawyer.

Who should pay if something breaks in a rented apartment
Who should pay if something breaks in a rented apartment

Situation: you rented an apartment with furniture and household appliances, you live happily ever after. After a while, the washing machine breaks down. Are you sure that the unit has stopped working due to old age. He was many years old, so the engine just worn out. Therefore, it is the owner of the apartment who must replace the equipment, because you rented an apartment with a typewriter. But the owner disagrees with you. He believes that you used it when it stopped working, which means that the repair is on you. Let's try to figure out which side is the truth.

How to understand who is responsible for the repair

In an ideal situation, the procedure is determined by the contract between the tenant and the owner of the apartment. Unfortunately, the parties often decide to do without this document. The initiators are most often homeowners who do not want to pay taxes.

Therefore, the procedure for clarifying the relationship will be somewhat more complicated. According to the law, the lessor is obliged at his own expense to carry out major repairs of the leased property, and the lessee is the current one. But this does not sound very clear when it comes to, say, a refrigerator or a tap.

According to the lawyer of the European Legal Service Maria Zamolotskikh, if there is no agreement or there are no areas of responsibility in it, much will depend on what happened and who is to blame.

If the tenant's cat drops the TV from the shelf and his screen breaks, everything is obvious. But it happens that a crane or a pipe burst due to a water hammer. The tenant is not to blame here. The owner is the same, but he can try to get compensation from the resource supplying organization or management company. If something breaks down due to normal wear and tear, questions to the owner of the property.


Maria Zamolotskikh Lawyer of the European Legal Service

However, it is the tenant who will need to prove that it was not he who broke something, but that it stopped working due to natural wear and tear, or the defect arose before it moved in. This can be done by contacting an expert organization. She will conduct an examination and issue an opinion.

The costs are likely to be borne by the tenant, although you can try to split them in half with the owner of the apartment.

How to protect yourself from controversial situations

Both parties can protect themselves if they sign an agreement that defines the conditions for the delineation of responsibility. For example, they will just indicate who pays for the examination in order to find out whether the wear was natural or not.

Maria Zamolotskikh advises the employer, when signing the contract, to carefully inspect the apartment and everything that is in it: walls, floor, radiators, plumbing fixtures, taps, household appliances.

If there are signs that in the near future something of the property may become unusable due to wear and tear or an emergency condition, it is worth informing the owner of the apartment and asking to correct the deficiency. Otherwise, in the future, in the event of an accident, the owner may try to shift the responsibility to the tenant.

Maria Zamolotskikh

Defects that do not need immediate correction and do not affect operation are also better indicated in the contract. When infested, scratches on the laminate may seem like nonsense to the tenant. And when leaving, the owner can easily pretend to be amnesia and declare that it was the tenant who ruined the floor, and therefore will not receive the deposit back.

What if the tenant did not spoil something, but improved it

Let's say the tenant has replaced an old working crane with an ultramodern one. When leaving, he can easily take his purchase with him. The main thing is not to forget to return the old equipment to its place, because he rented an apartment with a crane.

But there is also a category of improvements that are called inseparable. For example, the tenant decided to re-glue the wallpaper. It will not work to take them along with you when you leave, but the money is invested. If the tenant made some kind of inseparable improvements, he can demand compensation from the owner. But there are nuances here.

Such improvements must only be made with the written consent of the owner. If this is not done, it is likely that the tenant will also compensate for the damage. After all, to the owner, such an amateur performance may not seem like an improvement.

Maria Zamolotskikh

The algorithm for making inseparable changes, their list and the procedure for distributing costs are also indicated in the lease agreement.